Ham is often served at Christmas because it is a traditional dish that has been enjoyed by many people for centuries. There are a number of reasons why ham is a popular choice for the holiday season.
One reason is that ham is a relatively easy and convenient dish to prepare, especially when compared to other meats like turkey or roast beef. Ham is typically pre-cooked, so it only needs to be heated up before serving, which makes it a hassle-free option for holiday dinners.
Another reason is that ham is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. It can be served as a main course with sides like mashed potatoes and gravy, or it can be used as an ingredient in dishes like ham and cheese sandwiches or ham and eggs.
Finally, ham is a delicious and flavorful meat that is enjoyed by many people. Its salty and savory taste pairs well with a variety of different side dishes, making it a popular choice for holiday dinners and gatherings. So, it’s a tradition to have ham at Christmas.
Turkey vs. Ham:
Both ham and turkey are popular choices for Christmas dinners and other holiday gatherings. The choice between ham and turkey often comes down to personal preference and tradition. Some people may prefer the taste and texture of ham, while others may prefer turkey.
One key difference between ham and turkey is the level of difficulty in preparing them. Ham is typically pre-cooked and only needs to be heated up before serving, making it a relatively easy and hassle-free option. Turkey, on the other hand, typically requires more time and effort to prepare, as it needs to be roasted in the oven.
Another difference between ham and turkey is the range of flavors and textures they offer. Ham is typically salty and savory, with a firm, dense texture. Turkey, on the other hand, can have a more mild flavor and a softer, more tender texture.
Ultimately, the choice between ham and turkey for Christmas (or any other holiday gathering) comes down to personal preference and what you and your guests enjoy. Both options can be delicious and satisfying, and either one can be the centerpiece of a memorable holiday meal.
Here is a simple to make Maple Glazed Ham recipe that will be a winner with the whole family and all your guests.Print
A maple glazed ham has been coated in a sweet and savory glaze made with maple syrup. The glaze is typically made by combining maple syrup with brown sugar, mustard, and other ingredients such as vinegar or Worcestershire sauce. The ham is then baked in the oven until the glaze is caramelized and the ham is heated through. Maple glazed ham is a popular dish for holiday meals and other special occasions. It can be served as a main course with sides such as mashed potatoes, gravy, and vegetables, or it can be sliced and served as part of a charcuterie board or sandwiches.
- 1 fully cooked bone-in ham (8–10 pounds)
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Place the ham in a roasting pan and add about 1 inch of water to the bottom of the pan.
- In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.
- Brush the maple syrup mixture over the top and sides of the ham.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake the ham for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until it is heated through.
- Remove the foil and continue to bake the ham for an additional 15-30 minutes, or until the glaze is caramelized and the ham is nicely browned.
- Let the ham rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Choose the right size ham: When choosing a ham for baking, it’s important to select one that is the right size for your needs. A good rule of thumb is to plan for about 1/2 pound of ham per person, which will give you enough for both the main meal and leftovers.
- Preheat the oven: Preheating the oven is an important step when baking a ham, as it ensures that the ham will cook evenly and thoroughly. Be sure to allow enough time for the oven to fully preheat before placing the ham in the oven.
- Use a meat thermometer: A meat thermometer is a useful tool for ensuring that the ham is cooked to the right temperature. For a fully cooked ham, the internal temperature should be at least 140°F.
- Baste the ham: Basting the ham with a mixture of pan juices, glaze, or other liquids helps to keep it moist and flavorful as it cooks. Be sure to baste the ham every 30 minutes or so to keep it from drying out.
- Let the ham rest: After the ham is done cooking, it’s important to let it rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. This allows the juices to redistribute and makes the ham easier to slice.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
Here are a few ideas for side dishes that would pair well with ham at a Christmas dinner:
- Mashed potatoes: A classic side that goes well with almost any main course, mashed potatoes can be flavored with butter, milk, cheese, or herbs for extra flavor.
- Roasted vegetables: Carrots, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, and other vegetables can be tossed in oil, seasoned with herbs and spices, and roasted in the oven until tender and caramelized.
- Stuffing: A flavorful mix of bread, herbs, and vegetables, stuffing is a staple at many holiday dinners.
- Cranberry sauce: This tart and sweet sauce adds a touch of brightness to the meal and complements the savory flavors of the ham.
- Gravy: A rich and flavorful gravy made with the drippings from the ham can be served over the ham and other dishes.
- Dinner rolls: Soft and buttery rolls are a great way to soak up the juices from the ham.
- Green beans: Green beans can be steamed, sautéed, or roasted and served with a variety of seasonings and toppings.
- Sweet potatoes: Baked, mashed, or roasted, sweet potatoes are a tasty and healthy side dish that pairs well with ham.
- Mac and cheese: A creamy and comforting casserole made with pasta and cheese, mac and cheese is always a hit with kids and adults alike.
Because this is an important meal of the year, perhaps it is time to improve your roasting pan situation. If that is the case, we recommend Le Creuset Stoneware as the product of choice.